Livin’ Country

Livin’ Country is the title of the gripping thrice-yearly magazine published by the Union of Country Sports Workers. And a joy to behold it is.

The latest edition arrived in our office earlier this week. But we hadn’t got past page two when we realised what must’ve happened. So great were the number of factual errors that we thought they’d sent the first draft, written by a work experience student, to print, rather than a final version after several quality checks. But then, such an error would be forgiveable; it can happen to the best of us. The reality is that the UCSW has published an appalling document, littered with careless and in some cases inflammatory errors, the only effect of which will be to confuse their membership.

In the President’s Message, Sir Johnny Scott Bt MFH:

  • describes the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) as an “umbrella organisation” including the League – (it isn’t)
  • says we donated £1m to Labour in 1996 – (we didn’t)
  • says we’ve thrown our “financial support behind Vote Cruelty Free” – (we haven’t)
  • describes Vote Cruelty Free organisations as “animal rights outfits” – (we’re not)
  • says Vote Cruelty Free is targeting marginal seats – (it isn’t)
  • describes Lush as a ‘multinational’ – (it isn’t)

…and all that’s in just three paragraphs! Clearly Sir Johnny wasn’t knighted for his services to accuracy.

There’s then a double page spread on Brian Friend, the hunter who was part of the group who took the government to the European Court of Human Rights to argue that the Hunting Act breached their human rights. Unsurprisingly, the Court told them to go home. What is surprising, however, is the tone of Mr Friend’s piece in the magazine.

“[The Court] ruled that hunting is only a social activity that does not merit the protection of human rights given so freely to others like Gypsies, Saami Indians, Eskimos, Aborigines, ethnic minorities, asylum seekers, terrorists, released rapists, convicts, murderers, former KGB officers, indigenous peoples everywhere and all those that are different from what would be described as “ordinary people”.

Yes, you read that right. Mr Friend thinks that it’s appalling that the human rights of ethnic minorities and asylum seekers have been upheld whilst his imagined human right to be cruel to wildlife hasn’t.

Ploughing on through Livin’ Hell Country, on page five we find a report that “CPS confirm secret filming is unlawful”. No they didn’t. We’ve said it before and frankly that lie has been put to bed once and for all.

Finally, it’s interesting to note the number of plugs for ‘Vote OK’ contained in the magazine; we counted at least six. We heard from a very reliable source several weeks ago that the Vote OK recruitment campaign had stalled and hadn’t had the impact they had hoped for. This latest push seems to confirm that they are in dire need of more people; there’ll be more on Vote OK on our blog and website on Monday.

The whole experience of working through Livin’ Country reminded us of the song by Living Joy, from 1995. Title? “I’m a Dreamer“. How apt.

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